Carbon Recycling International (CRI), a pioneer in power-to-methanol technology, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe (MHPSE), a market and technology leader in the design and construction of thermal power plants, today announced a strategic alliance to deliver power-to-methanol solutions to increase operation efficiency of coal power and chemical plants. Methanol is in high demand as a basic chemical and fuel for transport. Power-to-methanol is a viable technology for large-scale storage of wind and solar power.
The companies will market and deliver CRI's power-to-methanol technology, (Emissions to Liquid -ETL) and MHPSE's expertise in the integration of thermal power systems and environmental engineering equipment to enable power plants to operate at economic capacity levels, even when large variations in demand and supply are imposed by intermittent electricity from renewable sources on the grid. The companies will also provide energy upgrade solutions to chemical manufacturers for hydrogen recovery and carbon dioxide capture from flue gas to produce low carbon intensity methanol.
CRI is the first company to demonstrate industrial solutions in power-to-methanol production, by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plant flue gas, by developing large-scale conversion of renewable energy to hydrogen, and by reacting hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce methanol. CRI's power-to-methanol production plant in Iceland, which has been operating since 2012, produces ultra-low carbon intensity methanol that is used for biodiesel manufacturing and gasoline blending. The plant has recently been expanded to 4000-t/year production capacity.
A joint demonstration of load-following operation of power-to-methanol technology with a power plant will be demonstrated in the ongoing EU research project MefCO2 [Grant Agreement No. 637016] at the power plant in Lünen, Germany. Full commissioning and operation at Lünen is scheduled in 2017. Meanwhile, in even shorter term, other installations in industry can be realized economically at full commercial scale. Examples include iron and steel mills, which can realize significant carbon reduction in primary steel production with simultaneous methanol production.
MHPSE has both extensive know-how and a longstanding track record in the design and construction of high efficiency power-generation systems as well as integration of environmental engineering systems in modern power plants. Many of the largest thermal power plants in Europe have been spearheaded by MHPSE.
"This alliance allows Carbon Recycling International to gain the ability to market and deliver its power-to-methanol equipment and systems to clients in the power industry and chemical sector across Europe," remarked KC Tran, CEO and co-founder of CRI. "Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe has been a leader for many decades in the design and construction of thermal power plants in Europe and their team brings unique capability and understanding of the needs of power systems operators during the important transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy."
"With a growing share of energy from solar and wind power on the electric grid, coal power plants need to meet greater variations in power demand to maximize operating capacity and plant efficiency. This goal can be accomplished immediately with Carbon Recycling International's unique power-to-methanol solution which allows power plants to use excess capacity to store energy efficiently in liquid fuel which is easily stored or transported," remarked Dr. Matthias Jochem, Chief Sales Officer of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe and Member of the Board. "The power to methanol solution from CRI in combination with MHPSE's thermal generation and environmental technology allow us to extend our portfolio in thermal power plant engineering services that fit with the need of existing power plants as well as the demand for cleaner and more efficient plants to replace the aging European fleet."